Adjusting Cooking Demos at the Market...

7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I need input please......2002 outdoor season starts up June 1... I'm doing a serious tweek on the cooking demo/market tour.
In the past I had 2 chefs on the market each week, one doing a market tour <this is an eggplant I'd cook it this way, this is farmer Bob I buy ----from him> (unpaid), then the second chef does 2 cooking demos....same same, I give them $100 they are supposed to provide me wiht a recipe (more times than not I wrote it or got it late Fri night), $50 gift certificate to their restaurant and they made samples for 100 (2x). A few times (4 out of 30) chefs used shtuff not found in Mo....scallops, etc...
Sooooo this year instead of keeping track of two, I'm condensing and and having 1 chef shop the market and pick out food for the demos (again taking a crowd around and talking throughout. Then washing the produce and doing a cooking demo.....again $50 for the market drawing, but I'll write the recipe every week after market.
So now I'm working out the fine print.....would you wanna bring in your own oil, viniager, pasta, cheese????whatever you may wanna eleborate with...your mise? Or should I have a generic box to pull from if so what would you have in it?
In the past the chefs brought their own pots and pans and equipment and product...
I provided stoves, paper products, water if needed and then we'd raid a board member's kitchen if we were in need of something.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hiya shroom, Busy as usual!!!

When I do cooking demo's I always bring my own cutlery and cookware, special molds and the like. I also bring all my staples and main ingredients for the demi (within reason) I always ask that a basic pantry be availible..Fresh herbs, greens, condiments ect. Also you must consider what you are trying to get across with your demo, if you are trying to highlight the farmers of your area you would have as many items and condiments availible to the chef as possible. I like the idea of one chef per session, this allows the chefs as well as the people attending the market and the demo to focus on one chef.Somehow getting the attendies involved may be fun. Like having the chef work out a shopping list for the guests and having them divided into teams to search out the ingredients that have been detailed by the chef. Theres nothing better then getting people into the "hands On"aspect.
cc
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,509
998
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I think its a great idea combining the 2 into 1 longer session. I would have chefs provide their own pantry as you have no idea what they will prepare and would have to keep a pretty large pantry stocked to accomodate all chefs. What about center of the plate proteins? From my experience, outdoor markets usually are light on meat products. Will the chefs provide their own or must they find that at the market also? I understand that you are promoting Mo. products, especailly those at the market, but must all main ingredients come from Mo? That would eliminate all seafood, and most fish, for those chefs demoing entrees. How extensive is the market? Can you find most common ingredients, or are the chefs going to basically have to cook from a blind basket of what they find at the market?
 
1,839
11
Joined May 29, 1999
It is such a pleasure to read your post asking what the cook might want! Usually I shlep my own busbins full of schtuff and haul them back with me. If only one busbin were needed my back would be happy....(special oil, flour, sugar flowers, tourch, pastry tips, you know, icing...)
How lovely you could make the set up keeping the items needed in baskets and wooden crates suitable for display ~ hint, sell sell sell.....
What a treat if only knives and a few items were needed!
I would put in a phone call to chefs one solid week before for the recipes. I know I forget to send the recipes off until the last min or last frantic phone call!
(ps, got me some hen of the woods and cramini for dinner tonight, I love the local Fairway store!!)

yours in cyberspace, ***** cakes. :bounce:
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
CC~some days busier than others. Just think as my May as your December....ditto Sept.
I'm a kinesthetic kinda girl.....aka touchy feely.....and definately pull out different products that are new and/or unusual...black radishes, garlic scapes, fingerlings, fennel....The shopping tour will be an interactive one, they always are.
I too like to bring my own pots/pans/spoons/knives....NOW remember this is out in the street and is normally ONE dish.
there are two burners (butane). I have access to a restaurant down the street, actually two, that we've been known to borrow supplies from....cutting board, seive, plates.....the owner helped develop the market with me and hence gave me keys to his place since 6am on Sat is not his idea of a fun time.

Pete, I hold classes and dinners on a regular basis, many are purest (my favs) and several take whats available and add foods from around the world. My mission statement is to teach people how to cook and eat locally....and we have phenominal foods in Mo. beef, lamb, pork, eggs, tofu sometimes tempeh, these are available weekly at the market. Missouri does have trout and tilapia farms, I just haven't been that inspired to agressively recruit them....read fish outdoors in St. Louis heat during the summer....So the impetius of forming this market was that the other 200 year old market in town has become a brokers market, the vast majority of venders don't work or own a farm and the farmers that sold there cannot compete...it is a low budget kinda place....the other markets in town are also banana orange sellers...after exstensive travels to farms and conferences in Mo I've not seen citrus nor nanas. SOOOO not to belabor the point the whole premise of the demos is to show off local shtuff....
Well if they roam and select from the market it has alot of products to choose from, everything must come from the farm and the farmer who raised it is there....so we don't have oils<nor lards> spices <salt adn pepper> But we do have herbs adn honey .....we'll have salt and pepper and oils

MBrown.....one would hope that recipes would appear on a timely basis, but my experience has been DREAM ON. Not only are the schedules in print 1-2 monthes ahead of time, but I call <normally pop in to the kitchens>and talk through what is available...."white peaches are coming in" "this is the last of the asparagus" "fennel is not moving cus noone knows what to do with it, ditto celery root.", If there is a recipe I WAIT for it, if there is not and they can walk through the techniques I'll write um as they talk and work out amounts.....Most chefs are hesitant until they've been to the market and seen that it is something they do almost everyday...improvise....jamming on two burners....
Once they've been there and done one, they love it and ASK to do them. I'm just tweeking.....this again is one dish, and it is geared toward those that are coming home and having to cook after work....Also when you've got great products they don't need too much done to them....Craft is a great example.

I love the looks in peoples eyes when they come to the market and try the sweet corn or white peaches.....these take me back to my childhood....Pork that taste like pig.....Eggs that people buy in multiple dozens, it's not unusual for people to get 3dz eggs a week....they are that good.

So it may be I have a back up box with viniagers and oils, salt pepper, maybe a mustard and a few spices....nothing elaborate but something to have "in case"....
Selling products at the market has been a massive thorn in my side, I now rent the booths and let others deal with that aspect.
T-shirts, hats, etc are mainly promotional...I make some money with them but to have inventory is a *****....again out in the street under a tent with white T-shirts.
check out www.saucecafe.com under chef's collaborative for pix.
 
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